The title of the 31st Bienal de São Paulo, “How to Talk About Things That Don’t Exist”, is a poetic invocation of art’s capacities, of its ability to reflect and act upon on life, power and belief. The sentence communicates optimism about the possibilities of art today – an optimism that echoes that of the Bienal and the projects within it.
To convey this openness, the first of the two verbs in the title has been constantly changing in the last months: the curatorial team started by talking about them (How to Talk about Things That Don’t Exist), later to move onto living with them (How to Live with Things That Don’t Exist). This was followed by using (How to Use Things That Don’t Exist), but also struggling against (How to Struggle Against Things That Don’t Exist) and learning from (How to Learn from Things That Don’t Exist) those same things, in a list that can have no end.
The encounter between the political, social, religious, economic or ecological crises we are experiencing seem to have arrived to a stage of turn. This state of turn is our contemporary condition, and – therefore – the condition of this 31st Bienal. The crisis of representation also extends to art, which has perhaps been in the past a primary form of representing the world, and many artists in this Bienal are concerned with being present in situations and allowing their impressions to accumulate slowly so that viewers of their final works can feel part of the process of discovery and learning. The curatorial project looks into ways of generating conflict, through projects that have at their core an unresolved relationship between groups; between different versions of history; or between incompatible ideas; but also to think and act collectively, in order to prove it is a much more effective and enriching way to work than the individual logic often proposed to us.
Sep 1, 9am – 12pm | Press preview (Accreditation required)
Sep 2, 1pm – 10pm | Professional and Press preview (Accreditation required)
Sep 3, 1pm – 7pm | Professional and Press preview (Accreditation required)
Sep 4, 9am – 2pm | Professional and Press preview (Accreditation required)
Sep 5, 9am – 7pm | Professional and Press preview (Accreditation required)
Sep 6 | Exhibition opening
tue, thu, fri, sun 9:00 am – 7:00 pm; wed, sat 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo, Parque Ibirapuera, Gate 3, Avenida Pedro Álvares Cabral s/n